tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 18, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EDT
and everything else. "morning joe" starts right now. i am confident japan will recover and rebuild because the strength and spirit of the japanese people. over the last few days they've opened up their homes to one another, they've shared scarce resources of food and water, they've organized shelters, provided free medical care and looked out for their most vulnerable citizens. >> one man put it simply. it's a japanese thing. when hard times hit, we have to help each other. >> good morning. it is friday, march 18th. top of the hour, 6:00 on the east coast. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, financeer and "morning joe" economic analyst, a new title, steven rattner and columnist for "the new york times," bob herbert is back with
us. msnbc political analyst is in washington, pat buchanan. >> he's back. >> and willie geist. >> you've been to paradise, now you have. get over it. >> thank you, willie, for coming back. >> we have a couple big stories today. japan keeps unfolding but also the united nations security council makes a big move on libya last night. we'll be talking about that and the ramifications. >> we will get to japan in just a moment. first we start with libya. europe's air traffic control agency says libya has closed its air space to all traffic. that move comes a day after the u.n. security council authorized a no-fly zone over libya and, quote, all necessary measures to stop moammar gadhafi from attacking his own people. yesterday's vote was 10-0 with 5 abstentions, including russia and china which credited the arab league's endorsement for its decision not to veto. the resolution's backers, united
states, france and britain are now discussing how to enforce the no-fly zone. at the white house yesterday, press secretary jay carnie urged patience in ousting gadhafi. >> we are talking here about an event that is only weeks old. so to suggest that somehow we could -- any could snap their fingers and when a leader in a country takes action that the international community condemns, that leader, if he or she decides they're going to hunker down and stay in power, you know, days pass and they haven't left, at some measure of the impact of the international community, i think that's a silly standard to set. >> meanwhile, calling into libyan television yesterday, gadhafi vowed to retake the rebel stronghold of benghazi, staying that for those who resist, there will be, quote, no mercy or compassion. there are also new reports that
gadhafi's forces are bombarding a rebel-held town in the western part of the country. and in an interview with abc, one of gadhafi's sons said the libyan government would release one of "the new york times" journalists missing in the country sometime today. there are four missing. those pictures you see there, saying, quote, they will release her. although she entered the country illegally, end quote. however, he did not give a specific nail. it's not clear if he was referring to the photographer, lynsey addario. those journalists being held in libya. that's a side story to this crisis. >> it certainly is. let's talk, though, there has been a battle for some time internally in the united states whether we should go in or not. very interesting, "financial times" writes this, grown-up governments do not indulge in emotional lunges, committing warplanes and hastings, pat buchanan, is suggesting this is
too little too late and we're doing it cynically to make ourselves feel good. >> i think he may have a point, joe. look, the u.n. has authorized a war on libya but the congress in the united states has not authorized barack obama to take this country to war on libya. and i would hope that before barack obama takes part in one of these air strikes, which get us into that war, that the congress of the united states both houses, discuss it something like a gulf of sidra resolution, whether or not to authorize the united states to go to war. libya, gadhafi for all his evil, has not attacked the united states. >> but pat buchanan, back in '58 after the berlin bombing, ronald reagan didn't go to congress before he scrambled the jets and tried to kill gadhafi. >> exactly, joe. >> why are things different now? >> we had been attacked by libya and we counterattacked and ronald reagan went to congress
and said here's why i did it. if the united states is attacked, one of our ships by libyan forces, the president's got the right to respond. but in the absence of an attack on the united states, libya's not at war with us. >> okay. >> but for us to attack them would take to us war with them. >> bob herbert, do we attack a country that has not attacked us? >> you know, i think barack obama and the u.s. is obviously in a tough place here. a country like the united states, there's a -- we have fundamental values that we are in favor of. and you know, gadhafi, you never know what he is going to do. there's always the potential of humanitarian disaster in libya. and i think that starting off with the u.n. resolution, the idea of the no-fly zone is a good start. do i believe that you need to move cautiously but i don't think the united states can just sit back and watch some terrible happening unfold in libya.
>> especially if the president makes pronouncements like he has. especially the fact that he has been saying that gadhafi must go. i don't know what this has done to his credibility to not act on it. >> did the president make the right call? >> we're not doing this unilaterally. you said repeatedly on this show that the united states shouldn't go in there themselves, shouldn't be the world's policeman. >> agreed. >> we went to the u.n., particularly france, somewhat amazingly were in favor of going in there and trying to create a no-fly zone. i think it's responsible action for us to be a part of that. >> the arab league, you have lebanon sponsoring this resolution and we have been and i know pat buchanan and i talk about it, a lot of people around the set talk about it, there's been, willie, this instinct for the united states to unilaterally go places over the past 20, 25 years since the fall of the soviet union. in this case, though, you have
france out first, england, then you've got the arab league. it certainly does give us a lot more cover. >> that was critical to president obama. he said that yesterday. wanted to make sure everyone knows this is not a western-led attack on a muslim country, he had the arab league with him. he wouldn't go out on camera and talk about the vote. he clearly does not want the united states to be the face of this effort. >> let's move to japan now. >> all right. a frantic several under way right now in japan to stem the crisis at the fukushima nuclear plan the. according to japanese officials, the complex's third unisit their main priority since water there is to be dangerously low, meaning fuel rods could overheat and emit dangerous radioactive material. throughout the week, the japanese government has been criticized for poor communication about the situation. officials now say they are the asking the u.s. government for help and are discussing solutions. for now, though, the japanese government has no plans to expand its mandatory 13-mile exclusion zone around the plant.
in a positive setback earlier today, smoke once again rose from one of the plant's buildings as crews work to reconnect power to the critical systems. meanwhile, the international atomic energy agency is reporting these developments. first, the severity rating of a nuclear crisis has been raised from 4 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 7 with 7 being the worst. that would suggest a level of seriousness on par with the three mile island accident in the u.s. back in 1979. plus, up to 64 tons of water were dropped at the overheating reactors yesterday. and the agency says a cable has been restored to the cooling pumps at the second reactor in the plant. >> and let's look at some of these statistics and, steve rattner, i'm going to ask you what the president needs to do. four of the plant's six reactors
have seen fires, explosions, three of the reactors have at least had partial meltdowns. officials say temperatures are rising, even in the spent fuel pools, two other reactors. it's a horrific situation. and the question is this, and i've got to say, we obviously ge's a parent company. i like jeff immelt personally very much. it's uncomfortable for me to say this, this is the reality. these are ge plants. and there are people living in california that want to know, on the san andreas fault line and across america, whether these type of plants that did not withstand this damage are located in their states, located in their regions. doesn't the president need to aggressively lean forward and find -- i say this, it's uncomfortable, jeff immelt is the head of his business economics team.
>> sure. the president does need to look into this and find out whether the so-called mark one plants on balance are about 40 years old have design faults and whether there's liability. there have been reports there were warnings along the way from experts that the plants were not designed to withstand this kind of shock. this is the fifth largest earthquake in history. it's a very unusual event. >> right, right. >> we need to preview it and kep in mined that secretary chu said nuclear energy needs to be part of what we need. >> where are these type of plants? i say specifically if they're ge plants, is this not something that secretary chu and barack obama should be -- should be pursue enge and figuring out to make sure that americans know if a nuclear reactor -- nuclear
plants in their neighborhoods or in their states are safe? >> of course. germany has already done that, said it's going to review all of its older nuclear plants and so should we. but i think at the same time we have to keep our ileye on the larger question, how are we going to provide electrical power to this country over the next 30, 40 years. nuclear was supposed to be coming back for the first time since three mile island. we have to be careful not to overreact, not to throw the baby out with the bath water. >> what do you think? >> this is a big issue. maybe in the united states needs to get more attention even than it's been getting. there's two questions we need to ask. these obviously are rare occurrences. you know, but we've seen rare occurrences that have been horrific. no one really thought that the gulf of mexico could be fouled to the extent it was in the bp oil spill, for example. the first question is could a catastrophe of this sort happen in the united states?
whether it's rare or not. in the next 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. the answer is yes, something like that could happen. the second important question is, is it worth the risk? that's where you need to have the conversation. i don't think that it's easy to come up with an answer here. we have a global warming problem. we have energy problems. we have dependence on foreign oil. but on the other hand when these terrible things occur, there hasn't been a tremendous loss of life but there's panic, the population gets upset. and whole geographic areas can be ruined. >> we're taking a look at the mass exodus as people are trying to leave the country right now. this is tokyo. >> my question is, if there is a belief that there are design flaws in this ge plant, in these ge plants, and if they are scattered across the united states, is that not a discussion
that we need to have in the united states? >> i think necessarily so, joe. look, this is one of the worst disaster you can imagine, a 9.0 earthquake followed by a tsunami and hitting the generators that are behind that plant. i really think you're going to have to ask yourself, look, if there's a 9.0 earthquake under diablo canyon, what would happen? i think those are the questions that we ought to ask, as someone said, it's a low risk but it's a risk. the questions got to be asked. >> yes. >> finally before we go to break, european stocks rose today, taking their cue from positive american and asian sessions yesterday. the nikkei surged 244 points while the dow shot up 161 points as investors welcomed an agreement by the g-7 to support the japanese economy. all right. when we come back, we have a big show today, bradley cooper will be here on set. also we'll bring in the president of the afl/cio,
richard trumka, plus a preview of "meet the press" with david gregory. and will the president be forced to take a stand on the budget? and i saw willie talking about trump. >> i need to call him. >> has he moved into the bertha category? >> he's edging that. >> way i need to talk to him. plus, late-night action in the college basketball tournament, all the buzzer beaters and upsets, straight ahead in sports. >> mika, you don't care. don't even pretend you care. >> exciting stuff. bill karins with a check of the forecast. >> today will be the really good day, joe. this weekend it goes back to normal. gorgeous, 65 in central park in new york. maybe 70. d.c. yesterday was in the 60s. boston yesterday was 63 degrees. it was a fantastic spring day for everyone. there's rain showers today, northern new england up there in
maine. most of us will remain dry during the day. look at this forecast, 71 in new york today. 76 in d.c. but notice the air to the north, buffalo at 51 ws boston at 53. don't get used to this and don't expect this over the weekend. temperatures will come way down, back into the low 50s. today's forecast if you're on the east coast, enjoy the one more day of warmth. 80s from florida to texas. notice new york, you drop down to 52 on saturday. and even as we go into sunday, femme tou temperatures will be on the cooler side in new england. thunderstorms in the middle of the country. enjoy today. you may not even need the jacket as you head to work or to school. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. [ female announcer ] sometimes you need tomorrow
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i think tonight you might even beat craig ferguson. you know, it's really coming down to the wire between you two. i understand you have a one chair and he has a one chair. what aim doing here? >> for as much fun as we've had with tiger woods, it seems like he's drained himself of the tiger blood and is finally starting to turn over a new leaf. >> how is it being a single dad? >> it's work but enjoyable. that's the work that i love. we have a great time together. that's what's most important. >> it's baby steps, you know. you just can't cut it off.
>> i mean, really? >> come on, tiger, be a professional. >> 20 past the hour. i -- yeah. i'm going to refrain. i'm going to refrain. i'm not sure why that went so soft. "the new york times" introduced a plan to begin charging frequent users of its website $15 a month, finally. casual readers will have access to 20 free articles a month before being asked to sign up for a subscription package just a little bit too late. >> your work is not being give an way entirely. >> you have to pay for stuff. >> i remember when we started to access "the new york times" online, i thought why is this for free, is something wrong with eye my computer. >> there's so much else online, how can it be free? >> this is a big bet. this is really one of the first efforts to charge for news and opinion and for content. >> yes. >> we're going to find out whether people are willing to
pay for it. >> isn't that the problem that it's now happening. now we don't want to pay for it. >> until now people haven't been willing to pay for this kind of thing. now we'll find out if they're willing to pay for, arguably, the greatest paper in the world. >> arguably? >> we try to throw you a compliment. >> i love it. >> you're the greatest newspaper in the world. okay? don't make us say it twice t. is the best. >> and the world's greatest newspaper, "the new york times" -- >> which you should pay for. >> this is a sad story. the thoroughbred retirement foundation is dedicated to caring for former racehorses. acoring to inspection reports, many of the horses are being neglected and starving. the foundation, based in saratoga springs, new york, is in debt and has been slow to pay 25 farms it hired to look after the horses, one especially in oklahoma. the treatment has been horrific. >> let's go to the "boston globe." newt gingrich travelled to new hampshire yesterday to continue
gauging his presidential prospects. he criticized the president for his decision to fill out a basketball bracket during a segment on espn but gingrich was again forced to grabble with questions about his personal life, including his past infidelity. >> i'd rather have to answer the questions about espn. willie? >> i think the president wins that one. with us now, the chief white house correspondent for politico, mike allen with a book at the playbook. >> happy friday. >> happy friday to you, mike. people want the president to lead on the budget going after tax reform, entitlements, now we have republican and democratic senators getting together, i understand, to push the president that way. what are they doing? >> this is quite remarkable. the president has talked about wanting to do something big on medicare, medicaid, social security, but he hasn't made the first move. he hasn't said what he would do. today we have a remarkable
letter going from capitol hill to the white house, more than 50 democrats and republicans on this letter, urging the president to include those entitlements, social security medicare, medicaid and tax reform in the budget talks that are going on right now. they want the president to broaden the budget talks whereas the white house prefers to do short-term budget, medium-term budget, long term. they say we need to start talking about all of it right now. i had a playbook breakfast yesterday with the house budget chairman, paul rhine. he said he very much wants to kick this discussion off. he says the white house has not been willing to sit down with him. the house budget chairman, they're not talking to them. if that's right, there won't be pressure and engage about what they might do. >> were you invited to the playbook breakfast. >> i wasn't. >> mika? >> no. >> i was not invading the playbook breakfast.
>> i have issues with jim vandehei. i can see why i wasn't invited. >> let's have a "morning joe" breakfast and not invite mike. >> thanks anyway. >> politico breakfast in bed for you guys, how's that? home delivery. >> on second thought, we're good. >> mike, who are you pulling for in the tournament? >> temple. >> i think byu story is remarkable. they are going on to win without their key player and this young player from new york. >> jimmer. >> jimmer fredette. is an amazing story. he's talked about how he was raised by a mormon parent and catholic parent. he went on to become mormon. another great story from last night was there were a couple great upset stories last night. upset city in denver.
>> awesome. >> thank you. happy friday. you're from temple, right. >> i'm for temple. they're scrappy and cute. >> does jim scream, get his temple clothes on? >> no, not really. >> talking about jimmer, he shoots a three-pointer when they're up by like 80 points. that's a punk move, even though he's a good guy. jimmer, very -- >> don't say that name anymore. >> and his brother, they show his brother in the audience and what do they say he is, chris? >> he's an aspiring rap singer. >> this guy, the demographics are not right from this kid from utah, he's in new york city, to be an aspiring rap singer. >> a mormon from upstate new york. this is like south park. >> get it over with. >> a mormon rapper from upstate new york. >> no, that's not going to work.
march madness. upset buzzers beaters. we start with the late guys. sad ending to a great season under steve lavin, brought that program back from the dead essentially. in the tournament for the first time in nine years. taking on gonzaga. they jump out to a lead on a 12-0 run. st. john's fell behind early and never recovered. gonzaga blows out st. john's, 86-71. wild one, seventh seed ucla, tenth seed michigan state. ucla was up by 23 points but a fuhr kous comebrack, a barrage of three-pointers, including one by appling. michigan state down by just one. they got one more chance to tie the game. but lucas called for traveling. he would have had to make a half-court shot anyway. >> i went to sleep on this thing and ucla was crushing them.
>> they were up 23 points. michigan state came all the way back. >> can i help you with something? >> what is wrong with you? you get the prescriptions. "the new york times," greatest newspaper in the world has a story about staten island. >> i'm good. >> they passed out drugs. >> i know that guy. >> she obviously came here to be at staten island. >> he was my guy for a long time. >> steve vanderbilt. i hate to show this on television. >> mika just got a joke from yesterday. >> trying to end a long run of early exits. anderson of richmond, the tough jumper and the foul, 66-63. richmond with under 30 seconds to go. a one-point game. vanderbilt needs a stop, they can't get it. one more try to try the game. just not even close. richmond beats vanderbilt, 69-66. >> little joey scarborough always goes against vandy.
i always ask him why. he says the home court advantage is so unfair that their record is always better than they actually are. >> they went to the sweet 16 four years ago. >> i love them. >> they've lost in the first round the last three times. earlier in the day, wild finishes to kick off the tournament, richmond will play morehead state. yes, morehead state out of kentucky beat fourth seeded louisville. here's how it happened. louisville up two. ten seconds left. demonte harper -- >> no way. >> pulls up for a three to win the game. louisville has another shot but it's blocked at the buzzer. rick pitino calling this one of the toughest losses. >> that's how they won? >> yes. >> tenth seeded penn state playing temple. >> yeah, temple. >> talor battle, game-tieing three. 14 seconds to go. temple responds. look at this shot by juan
fernandez. off-balance shot, goes in, temple wins by two. 66-64. >> whoa! what about that? >> that's nice. >> princeton, unbelieval. less than a minute to go. a step back, but then here comes kentucky. this is freshman brandon knight. that's the game-winner. puts it up off the glass. kentucky survives. >> princeton always does that. remember when they pushed georgetown? >> they beat ucla 15 years ago. >> one more, butler came within an inch of winning the national title last year. here we go, shawn vanzandt. matt howard with the follow-up at the buzzer. that was the game-winning layup. butler moves number one seeded pittsburgh. look out pittsburgh for butler. still ahead, mika -- >> the must-read opinion pages. >> they're coming. and the latest out of japan. the threat of a melt adjoumeltd
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here at home nuclear power is also an important part of our own energy future. along with renewable sources like wind, solar, natural gas and clean coal. our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study and have been declared safe for any number of extreme contingencies. but when we see a crisis like the one in japan, we have a responsibility to learn from this event and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people. >> 35 past the hour. welcome back to "morning joe." let's get an update on the latest developments in japan, bringing in nbc news' ann curry, she's live in akita, japan. why don't we start with the severity rating which was raised to level five, characterized what exactly that means. >> reporter: well, a level five basically puts the disaster here on par with three mile island, which makes it below obviously
chernobyl which was a level seven. this is part of the bad news we're hearing today. reuters is reporting that japanese officials are saying that they are conceding that it's possible that the only real way to prevent a catastrophic release of radiation is to actually bury the plan the. that's under discussion. reactor three is especially dangerous because it has recycled fuel that contains plutonium. there is, however, some good news to tell you here today. that is that engineers have reportedly been able to lay an external grid power cable to reactor two. this is very important. it's the first step to restarting the generators that are required to get the cooling system turned back on, mika. >> ann, what bts seabout the set of the japanese people when it comes to understanding and believing information from the government? are we seeing any ripples with
that? >> there's so much conflicting information here. >> reporter: you're absolutely right, both of you. joe and mika, what's happening is the japanese people have increasingly shown signs that they doubt that their government is telling them the truth. they're now openly saying that to news reporters. they're also revealing that in how they're behaving. they're filling up passport offices, train stations to get out from tokyo. they are also lining up at airports to get out of dodge, essentially, even though their government, high government officials have said there's no reason to leave tokyo. so i think that by their behavior, many japanese people are showing that they don't trust what their government is telling them. >> also, the exclusion zone around the fukushima plan is the still limited to a point. are people being left to make their own decisions about when to leave? for example, if you were in a situation where your family was there, what would you do at this
point? i think i'd be getting my family out thereof, yet the government says no. >> well, the government says if you are within 12 miles you should evacuate. it says if you are further out, between 12 and 19 miles, you should stay in your home. if i were living in that area, i probably would get out. we went -- our team went through fukushima in the early days after that disaster was beginning and, you know, we were stunned, we already saw at that point people lined up for food and store shelves empty. yet people were going along in their daily business. it was sort of odd, the cars weren't rung as well, there were long lines for gasoline. people were believing that help was beginning to arrive, that they would be all right. now all these days later to see the extending of this evacuation zone and also hearing the increasing concerns raised by japanese that the americans are saying people within 50 miles
should be evacuated. american citizens between 50 miles within that area should evacuate. that's added to the distrust that people have. it seems very sad that people did not know earlier to get out of the way. >> nbc's ann curry, we'll be watching your coverage. thanks very much. >> thank you so much. as she talked about the united states, is talking about a 50-mile radius, we're not even letting our military personnel get within 50 miles of that plant. without special exceptions. and yet, they're saying if you live 13 miles away from the plant, just hang out. >> right. >> i mean, come on. >> you wonder if the japanese know about our 50-mile rule and what they would think about that if they did, compared to what their president is telling them. >> still ahead, afl/cio's richard trumka will be with us.
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you know, the president has this fixation with the final four, spent time on espn giving us his version of what really mattered to him. i put out today my final four. i said the final four for the president should have been enough jobs to get unemployment down to 4%, enough american oil and gas production to get gas prices down to $2. three, balance the federal budge wet a much smaller federal government and four, control the border. i would suggest to you my final four comes a lot closer to what a president ought to do than
obamas. i think it's increasingly clear that we have a spectator in chief instead of a commander in chief. this is in the background of rising gasoline prices, it's in the background where the deficit is enormous and he's show nothing leadership on the budget. it is maybe the most passive and out of touch presidency in modern american history. >> welcome back to "morning joe." you've got to say, willie, that actually barack obama's final four, a little more interesting. a little more engaging. it hooks you, pulls you in more. >> is he still talking? >> also more realistic, newt gingrich's final four is ridiculous. four things that aren't going to happen and shouldn't happen. >> we said yesterday, we said ourselves, i'd be curious to what you'd think, it's not good optics for the president to be going on espn filling out brackets when you have libya exploding and the situation in
japan. that being said,fy were running for office i wouldn't make that a centerpiece. >> it just felt -- >> optics felt a little off, didn't they? >> i agree. so you might be taking aback a little bit, look at it and then you would move on. this idea of them piling on over him going on is silly. >> that's filling air time. >> pat, you agree with that, right? >> i don't know if it's a good idea to go partying in rio this weekend when we're talking about air strikes on libya. >> now, i missed that press release from the white house. is the president, quote, partying in rio? >> i don't think that's what he's doing there. >> so what is he doing? steve rattner, what is the president doing in rio this weekend? >> he's going to promote jobs and american exports. >> good transition to our two must-read op-eds. >> that sounds like newt.
that's what newt's doing, too. >> okay. we have paul krugman and -- >> i'd love to do it with pat. pat's happy this morning. >> going too fast for you, willie. >> we've heard stories of him doing this before, washing up on a beach. i would seriously stay away from pat in rio. let's go must-read op-eds. >> yes, let's. the forgotten millions, paul krugman. more than three years after we entered the worst economic slump since the 1930s, a strange and disturbing thing has happened to our political discourse. washington has lost interest in the unemployed. no jobs bills have been introduced in congress, no job creation plans have been advanced by the white house and all the policy focus seems to be on spending cuts. in short we're well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. why doesn't washington care?
bob herbert? >> that's an excellent question. i don't understand it. i also don't understand why the media don't pay more attention to this issue. i mean, what's been going on in wisconsin but not just there, in ohio, in other places, it's a big story, both televisions and newspapers could have done so much more. we should be in the homes of these jobless family, showing the struggles. we should be showing what's happening to kids, poverty increasing. it's not something that's had traction. >> media as well? >> oh, i definitely think so. >> there's a lot of effort and money being put into, for example, going to the royal wedding next month. i'm serious. tons of money. >> that is an excellent question. it's all about -- i mean, it's about celebrities and that sort of thing. >> yes. >> "60 minutes" -- >> i think it's really sad. >> i don't know if you saw "60 minutes" a couple weeks ago. that's an exception. >> that should be done on a much larger scale. >> respond to paul krugman.
this is not just a progressives issue. when you have alan greenspan talking about the growing disparity between rich and poor being a great threat to american capitalism, this is an issue that should concern us all. >> the growing disparity is really scary. civil society doesn't exist when you have this kind of a spread. when you have the average worker, see their real wages after inflation go down over ten years, the last decade, the first time in american history that's happened, that's not a recipe for political and social stability. >> pat buchanan you wrote a book in the mid-1990s talking about the disappearing middle class. you've been talking about this happening since the early 1970s. how do you stem the tide? >> i think there's a lot of ideas to do it, joe. i don't want to go into all of mine now. do i agree the republican party has a good rep taking as a budget-cutting party. we have to have the growth agenda that ronald reagan also had, which is the other side of this equation.
and that means getting jobs. i agree with the folks up there. you're talking about the permanent unemployed now and there's not enough focus on these people who have been out of work for almost two years. >> all right. >> the republican party cannot be and pat i know you'll agree with me, cannot be the party of corporations. it's got to figure out -- >> middle america. >> how to grow the middle class again, which has been shrinking since the early 1970s. >> it sure does, joe. >> the rich keep getting richer. >> i think you can bring back the manufacturing jobs. that's one thing donald trump is at least talking about. >> speaking of donald trump we'll be talking about that coming up. you're right, he is pat, still ahead after bradley cooper and pulitzer prize-winning historian, jon meacham. first, trump plunges head first into the obama birther debate. that clip when we come back. >> don't do it! [ female announcer ] sometimes you need tomorrow
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was it funny. >> it's the crassest thing i've ever seen. >> you've never been to one of those roasts? >> it was horrible. >> mika told me the joke about the -- t. was horrible. >> never to be repeated. >> and lisa lampinelli. >> donald trump gave an interview to abc news aboard his giant plane en route from new york to florida we was going to mar-a-la mar-a-lago. he weighed in, here's what he said about the birther issue. >> everybody that even gives any hint of being a birther, a word you didn't use, even a little bit of a hint like, gee, you know, maybe, just maybe this much of a chance. they label them as an idiot. let me tell you, i'm a really
smart guy. i was a good student at the best school in the country. the reason i have a little doubt, just a little is because he grew up and nobody know of him. if i ever got the nomination, if i decide to run, you go back and interview people from kindergarten and they'll remember me. if you go back, nobody remembers him. >> do you have 600 million to spare? >> i have much more than that. that's one of the nice things. part of the beauty of me is that i'm very rich. so if i need 600 million, i can put up 600 million myself. that's a huge advantage. >> i love him. i love him. >> i love the opening clause to his sentence. part of the beauty of me, comma, anything that follows that is going to be great. there you have it. >> and it's only part of the beauty. >> he puts up $600 million, i think he can get through the republican primaries pretty well.
>> what do we think? >> i think he would be an interesting force but he's not going to get the nomination. 600 million or 6 billion, you don't seriously think he's going to get the nomination. >> who's going to beat him? >> i don't know. >> it's not like he's running against ike. >> you want to bet? >> i don't think he'll jump in. mika, he sure makes us believe he's going to run. >> yeah. >> he seems more serious about this, willie, than anything. >> yes. >> that i've seen. >> he's always business about this. one more poll, ppp, the polling firm did an independent test. charlie sheen is a joke. >> who is going to beat charlie sheen in one of these polls? nobody. why are they even asking this? nobody could lose to charlie sheen. >> wait. hold on. >> beating -- charlie sheen is
beating sarah palin among independent voters. >> what? >> among independents. >> mark my words about something i said earlier. >> what did you say? >> nothing. >> pat buchanan, charlie sheen or sarah palin? >> i don't like that one. let's go back to the birth certificate. >> oh, my god, pat. still ahead, tina brown, a preview of "meet the press" with david gregory. what is in pat's coffee? i'm good about washing my face. but sometimes i wonder... what's left behind? [ female announcer ] introducing purifying facial cleanser from neutrogena® naturals. developed with dermatologists... it's clinically proven to remove 99% of dirt and toxins and purify pores.
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are we willing to spend another trillion dollars on a war that doesn't have any exit plan for which there is no time frame to get out, no end game, where we haven't defined our mission? the question is, not whether we can afford to leave, the question is can we afford to stay in there? i submit we cannot afford to stay. the counterintelligence strategy of general petraeus is an abysmal failure. pat buchanan in washington and joining the table right now, the editor in chief of the daily beast and "newsweek," tina brown. good to have you back. >> nice to see you. >> a lot going on. >> what a week. >> obviously, afghanistan, we talked about it here for some time, it sounds like the debate is heating newspaper washington, finally. finally people asking questions.
>> well, it really is time. and with the world exploding as it is, i have to say obama does have the worst inbox of any president maybe in history. but the thing is, it's almost like the length of time it takes to make a decision and then it seems like we're not even confident that it's the right decision. you know, the afghanistan surge, i still think probably was a mistake. and now we're seeing this debate which really should have been capturing us more at the time and thereafter, i think. i think it's -- the afghanistan -- we want to push it to the front of the table now. we really do. we have to decide what we're going to do. >> the house voted down the bill to withdraw troops by the end of the year. should it even get to this there? i think it's obvious, actually. people are beginning to wear thin on this. >> no doubt about it. it is hard to push it to the front. >> right. >> when you have so much up front. japan, mika, yesterday, the united nations security council -- >> big news.
>> -- voting to take action on libya. let's start there. >> the libyan government closed its air space to all traffic today in reaction to that u.n. resolution authorizing the use of force and a no-fly zone over the country. american officials say attempts to ground moammar gadhafi's forces could begin by sunday or monday with the use of jet fighters, bombers and surveillance aircraft. meanwhile, gadhafi is promising to respond harshly to any u.n.-sponsored attack saying he doesn't acknowledge its resolutions. the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court says that if gadhafi goes ahead with his threat to attack benghazi, it would constitute a war crime. >> the question is, is it too little too late? max hastings writing in the "financial times" says this, grown-up governments do not indulge in emotional lunges committing warplanes as if sending a donation to oxfam. is it too little too late in
libya? >> i don't know if it is. i believe genuinely the congress of the united states has to debate this weekend whether or not to give barack obama the authority to take to us war against libya, because that's what the u.n. has authorized, a war on libya. joe, a quick point. our friend hailley barbour has raised the issue of afghanistan and raised the issue of cutting pentagon spending out there in iowa. this may be on the table in the 2012 republican primaries. >> i think it may be. >> absolutely. >> i think there's a big opening for a conservative who comes out and says we can't being basically the world's 911. bob herbert, is it too little too late in libya or did the president do what some of with us agreed, i think,. >> i think we needed to be part of this no-fly zone effort for
all we know, it may be paying dividends already. you have to be very careful about getting immersed in something that you can't extricate yourself from. >> right. >> i don't think the united states could just sit passively by and watch gadhafi just go in and start mowing down people. >> tina? >> i've been in favor of doing it earlier, i have to say. i think it's an agony for obama for the reasons we know. obviously you can't get embroiled in another war. at the same time, the moral recoil of seeing these rebels left to twist in the wind, i think the long-term affects on the arab street is having america, once again, that it did business with the terrible gadhafi, then it left them to twist in the wind, i don't see how he cannot do this. >> that's a discussion we're not having right now. great britain, much -- they played ball with gadhafi over oil, the same with the united
states. >> obscenely so. obscenely so. i absolutely agree. >> i wonder if that did not play into the considerations here at least of our government. >> definitely. i think it's played into the consideration of david cameron who knows that the labor government did cheesy stuff with the gadhafi government. one of the things we're seeing is how the son, were seeing this kind of guy because he had cool suits and had an american, sort of, education, as if he was a guy somehow different from his father. what we're seeing he's as blood thirsty as his father. just because he looks western, that is no difference. he was very much accepted in london in certain circles. >> we have to be careful, if this is a moral question, if we're doing it because it's the right thing to do. it will also become a moral question when gadhafi starts going after rebels on the ground. if he goes into benghazi without
airplanes and starts shooting and killing innocence and rebel forces there, what do we do then? if this is a slippery slope? if we committed morally to this, how far do you go? >> we did commit morally. the president said he has to go. the president was clear about that. doesn't that mean we're in? >> the president of the united states cannot say somebody has to go and then just take to us war. he has to have congress behind him. if we go in and attack libya, we're going to have to go in and finish him and kill him, otherwise, what's our purpose, just to have him have a fair fight? before we walk into this war, we ought to know how we're going to end it and win it and how we're going to get out thereof and that's why i think, congress has to be on board here. >> here's write agree with pat. you know, i'm in favor of the no-fly zone, the united states has to be part of that. the president has said gadhafi has to go. our concept of warfare has
changed. so that now we allow ourselves to get into these endless wars. they go on, afghanistan more than a decade now. and it used to be that if you went to war, the idea was to overwhelm the enemy and get it over with as quickly as possible. >> to win it. to have a concept. >> we need to decide on our own concepts of warfare going on now. >> and the meaning of winning. there isn't one in afghanistan. >> it's almost like there's so much information out there now about these other failed -- these other botched ways of doing things. >> which is one of the problems of the iraq war. it got all twisted up up. sometimes there are reasons to go to war and you should go to war for, obviously, the right real estatens. a top japanese official acknowledging his government is over welled by his country's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that comes as the
country's chief cabinet secretary reaches out to the u.s. for help in trying to stabilize the stricken fukushima nuclear plant. this morning, the severity rating of the crisis was raised from 4 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 7 with 7 being the worst. in a possible setback, smoke rose once again today from one of the plant's buildings. as crews worked to reconnect power to critical cooling systems. according to japanese officials, the complex's third unisit their main priority since water there is believed to be dangerously low meaning fuel rods could overheat and emit dangerous radioactive material. for now, though, the japanese government has no plans to expand its mandatory 13-mile exkplugs zone around the plant. the chairman of the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission is warning that the crisis in japan could take days and possibly weeks to get under control. at the white house yesterday, president obama tried to reassure the american public that the risk of radiation from
japan reaching american soil is negligible. >> we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the west coast, hawaii, alaska or u.s. territories in the pacific. that is the judgment of our nuclear regulatory commission and many other experts. >> the president's remarks came after he paid an unannounced visit to the japanese embassy in washington yesterday where he signed a condolence book for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. >> tina brown, right as this crisis began, mark halperin writes note every day for the "morning joe" team. he said from day one, the greatest challenge is going to be japan's government breaking its long tradition of not being forth right, not being honest with its people and the world. this was before you could have criticized them for anything but mark saw it coming. i guess a lot of people saw it coming.
there is something genetically wrong with politicians in these governments that just can't come forward and tell the truth. >> it's absolutely true. interesting enough -- >> it's in their dna. >> we have a post on the daily beast this morning about an interview with a guy who's in japan, our writer joan bach asked him what american can do. he says within a 30 kilometer radius, the government instructed the refugees to stay sealed indoors. the government isn't sending in food and fuels. he says they're being exposed. one government official made a historical statement accusing private companies not going to into the 30 kilometer area voluntarily. people are trapped in their houses. there's a sense of not wanting to criticize the government. that feeling in japan is intensely viewed in their culture. the government are doing badly right now but nobody wants to
criticize. >> what is it with japanese culture? >> a lot of us are in the business of criticizing our own government. sometimes the united states does things right. when there's a crisis of this sort in the united states, americans can feel comfortable that the government is not lying to them -- >> is with them. >> that the government is on your side. yes. not deliberately withholding information that will be life threatening to people and that sort of thing. so it's a big deal. the culture and the tradition in japan is different. and you pay a price for it. there are pros and cons. i think the cons overwhelm the pros in this case. >> right. >> but one of the pros is that the japanese people tend to pull together, that they are calm, you don't have looting and rioting and that sort of thing. but you pay a price. >> yes. we should be critical to help the people of japan. they're not being able to do it,
we have to. >> it's interesting to watch the american government defer to the japanese government for a while. they listened, 13 kilometers away, finally they said, enough, 50 miles, we're stepping in. >> we're out of here. >> willie's exactly right, pat. you have the japanese government saying if you're outside of a 12-mile radius, just hang out. 13 miles is fine. the united states won't even allow their military personnel to get within 50 miles without special permission. >> exactly. the united states is very different. we have almost an adversary culture here. there's joe, it's ethno-national. it's familial. you don't let the family problems out in public. this is say real characteristic of the japanese, utterly different from what we have, understandable, it can give them
real problems such as they've got now. i agree with mr. herbert here. the americans have a much better way of it, our openness, our back and forth, criticism and the rest of it, i think is much more beneficial if you're going to try to deal with this thing, honest, up front and get it out. >> the exception, of course, mika, for the united states was katrina. but -- >> well, but that criticism did spur. >> but within two days, george w. bush was savaged, savaged. his ratings dropped and people always tried to blame his collapse in the polls on iraq and other issues. but his polls plummeted to the low 30s and he never recovered, because we have an adversarial -- >> you're exactly right. >> and an open sense of communication and dialogue, at least compared to japan. >> look at what it was like in this country when 9/11 occurred. >> yes. >> you can still get chills. >> that's a good example. >> thinking about what went on.
>> it is like a horrific science fiction movie to think people are trapped in their homes being told they can't get out but they have nothing to eat and no gas to get out in their cars and escape and they're being pressured to not leave. it's a horrendous situation. >> the worry is when they are told to leave, it will be too late because exposure will be -- the levels will toob high as the american government believes. coming up, actor bradley cooper will join us live on the set. up next, the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory is here with a preview of this weekend's guests. first, we go to bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> it's amazing, if you're on the east coast from boston to the mid-atlantic, you may not even need a jacket for the first time in months as you head to work or the kids to school. temperatures in the low 50s. it's a tough call whether you'll bring the jacket or not. look at this forecast, temperatures low to mid-70s from new york to baltimore, trenton, philly, all the way down to washington, d.c. new england is cooler.
definitely buffalo and albany, boston, you'll be on the cooler side with highs only in the 50s. as we look at the rest of the country, a beautiful day in florida, texas looks great. cooler in chicago. over the weekend, the east coast will cool down. at least it won't be raining. not a bad start as we welcome in on sunday the start of spring. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. ♪
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allowed that bill to pass. that's the attitude we need to keep moving forward. >> speaker boehner has said he wants to avoid a shutdown. i believe him. i think he's a good man. the problem is, a large percentage of those in his party think compromise is a dirty word. so the speaker will have to make a choice, he can cater to the tea party element and as mike pence has suggested, pick a fight that will inevitably cause a shutdown on april 8th or he can abandon the tea party in these negotiations and forge a consensus among more moderate republican and a group of democrats. >> welcome back to "morning joe." mika, earlier i spoke briefly about the nuclear designs, ge, the "financial times" has a story talking about some of the concerns with the ge plants. nuclear is a very small part of the ge operation. but just a couple things really
quickly here. general electric, the largest u.s. industrial group set up an emergency response center at the headquarters of its nuclear business and has staffed round the clock to provide advice to the team battling the stricken fukushima nuclear plant under control. they have these mark one nuclear reactors over in japan that obviously are a bit older than the newer models. and the newer models have, the "financial times" says, they have, quote, passive safety that will keep the fuel cool for some time even if all power is lost, as it was in the japanese plant. there are questions that obviously they'll be answering on whether u.s. plants need to be upgraded. >> exactly. >> they've done upgrades since the 1960s. the question is do they have to do yet another upgrade to make sure the plants meet standards.
>> the disaster in japan reigniting the entire conversation. joining us from washington, the moderator of "meet the press" and david gregory. why don't we start there, david? we look at what's happening there. it's still unfolding. the severity is level 5 out of 7. it has to change the conversation. >> oh, i think it does and i think u.s. involvement has to become important here and providing any kind of support for the government of japan but also put something pressure on the japanese as well. in terms of how they're communicating this and what it is they're doing to actually deal with the problem. you know, at the same time the conversation will move forward about our disaster preparedness here, for any kind of nuclear meltdown but also other kinds of disasters. i think it has to make us all think about that in the erave budget cutting, what the united states is capable of doing responding to something as unforeseen as this. >> you'll have guests on "meet
the press" pertaining to this. the dire assessment so far on the situation there, similar to three mile island and a partial meltdown for reactors there. i would take it the energy secretary who will be your gift this sunday will have probably a new approach to how we deal with this conversation. >> i suspect he might. you've heard from our nuclear regulators here some disagreement this week about how they would be issuing precautions and how they would -- how much space, distance they would provide for the population surrounding the plant as well as the immediate remedy for this. so i think there are, you no he, big questions about the immediate aftermath and what comes next. i think there's also this question, which i spoke to a public health official about just last night. if radiation were to spread beyond this immediate zone around these reactors, if it gets closer to tokyo, will there be a public health concern for tokyo? and what would be the impact of seeking to evacuate a city that
large? the economic impact, as well as public health and panic and whatnot. there are important considerations here for the japanese government. >> it's willie. we've also been talking a lot this morning about libya and the u.n.-approved no-fly zone there. president obama has been careful to point out this is not a u.s.-led effort. this is an international coalition. what are the dangers for him here? he's trying to take his face and the american face off this. what are the perils of dipping our toe into the water here? >> that it may not work. i think you have to start asking the second, third and fourth question in libya. what are we trying to achieve? does that prevent gadhafi from using ground forces to defeat the rebels? what if this were done a couple weeks ago before gadhafi and his troops were able to crush this rebellion. would it have been more
effective? this is the slower pace of global diplomacy as you've seen in the united nations. but i think the ultimately, the question of whether this works is what's paramount on everyone's mind. the president said some time ago gadhafi must go. he hasn't gone anywhere. it underscores how difficult it is for thissed aphysician to develop a singular policy, getting the big ideas right when it comes to the middle east, where each country presents its own difficulties but all are moving in somewhat different directions beyond the pace or at a pace beyond which the united states can really influence it. >> david, who else do you have on "meet the press" this sunday? >> well, we'll be talking to dr. chu, secretary of energy, of course. we'll speak to former secretary of homeland security, tom ridge and others about disaster preparedness. jeff bingham as well from the energy committee. what is our level of
preparedness here in the united states? i think that's an important question we ask in the face of all this. >> david gregory, thank you. we'll see you this sunday on "meet the press." >> thanks. bob, we had at the top of the segment comments about john boehner trying to strike a deal with the president. do you think we'll have peace in our time as far as budget negotiations go? >> boehner is not crazy. he has an idea of what is responsible. ly agree with it or not. >> you can put that on a bumper sticker, boehner is not crazy. >> by bob herbette. >> he seems to want to be deal with this more than other people in his caucus. >> you have to feel empathy with obama. the guy has got so much to deal with right now. that it's almost like the politic politics would seem to be in bad taste. that's never affected those guys
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welcome back to "morning joe," 30 past the hour. a live shot of the white house. the green fountain still there. we have the deputy secretary of energy, daniel ponneman. the security rating has been upgraded to 5 at fukushima. what does that mean. >> the japanese will assess the situation as we do, too. they will make the adjustments they feel they need to make. the important thing for us at this point is to keep focus on the support for their efforts to get the situation under control. we're focusing primarily on that effort. >> go ahead, willie. >> mr. poneman, it's willie
geist. we have a number of nuclear plants here in the united states along fault lines in california. how confident are you this morning that if a catastrophe like this would strike the united states we would be prepared or at least better prepared to manage the situation? >> well, what i can tell you about our confidence, willie, is that we are very, very confident that we have an independent regulatory authority going back to 197, the nuclear regulatory commission which has got the responsibility and expertise to ensure that all 104 plants are operated safely wherever they may be in the united states. >> do they have different mechanisms than the plants in japan? how do ours compare to the ones at fukushima as far as containment goes. >> the plants are designed and they're boiling water reactors and pressure water reactors. there are similarities there. every site is specific and has unique circumstances and the licenses of the nuclear regulatory commission are always specific both to the reactor design and the site at which
they are locked. >> we have two sites on the san andreas fault, is that correct? >> in terms of the nuclear regulatory commission and, of course, you can talk to the chairman about this, they interpret seismicity all across the united states and they don't interpret it in terms of a tafat line per se. >> do we have two that are on a fault line in california. >> pardon? >> don't we have two plants that are on the fault line in california? >> as i said, from the perspective of the income regulatory commission they look at the sites an they have whatever evaluative criteria they have in terms of the sighting of the reactors and they monitor things ain a grade basis in that respect. >> i'm asking you, though. >> one of the good things about our country, we decided in 1974 to split the old atomic energy commission into a department of
energy. what i can tell you from the department of energy standpoint is we are continuing our focus on improving the safety of reactors wherever they may be. >> right. >> but in terms of the question of seismicity at specific sites, that's something that was shifted by the congress to the nuclear regulatory commission. >> if you're going to try to figure out how to keep sites safe, obviously if they're located on top of the san andreas fault, that comes under your inbox as well. i'm not trying to be difficult. there have been people calling in the last 30 days that want to know about the sites 30 miles from their homes. >> every day and every minute of every day, the nuclear regulatory commission is focused on the safe operation of our plants wherever they may be. if they find concern they can suggest modifications and if they need to, they can shut them down. >> let's look at the two plants. let's put it up, again, chris, the two plants that are on the
san andreas fault, the diablo canyon and the one near los angeles. i won't attempt to pronounce the last name. do they have the mark one systems that have not cooled down the way that later generation plant might cool down if there is an earthquake? let's say an 8.5 earthquake. >> well, when the nuclear regulatory commission evaluates the design and i'm not intimately familiar with the designs of those two particular reactors, they will look at all the things that may happen. if it's a coastal reactor they'll look at tsunamis. if it's in a more seismically active area, they take that into account. i'm sure they've done that with the diablo canyon and the other plant as well. >> are you saying you don't know what kind of facilities they have at those two plants? >> i don't know the specific make and model of those two particular plants. that falls properly within the
jurisdiction of the nuclear regulatory commission and we are very, very respectful of the lines the congress drew on that. >> so, okay. we need to know that, don't we? shouldn't americans know if it's a mark one boiling water reactor like the type they have in japan that hasn't responded well. >> two-thirds of our plants in the united states is pressurized and a third of the so-called boiling water reactors. americans are absolutely entitled to know all the design information that's shared through the nuclear regulatory commission and any other channels. >> do you not know the answer to that question or do you think it's not your position to answer that right now? >> we are very respectful of the lines that the congress drew. >> okay. >> i don't know if it's a specifically a mark one per se or not. it's not -- we've been focused in the department of energy on overall safety and improving the safety of reactors, not only in this country but we've been trying to work very hard to
support the japanese in their efforts to address the situation out there in fukushima. >> how can you comment on safety without knowing the -- >> right. moving forward, daniel, the united states government's position right now, the energy department's position right now is that nuclear energy is safe, that we as a government should continue investing in this type of technology? >> well, the president was very clear on this question yesterday. we continue to view nuclear power as an important part of an overall energy portfolio. we're trying to build a low carbon future. obviously nuclear power has an important role to play. equally importantly is whenever we do anything having to do with nuclear or any other energy means, safety is always our paramount concern and the american people and their safety is our paramount concern. any situations whether we're talking about oil, gas, clean coal, nuclear, always we'll keep the safety of the american people first and foremost. >> all right.
>> daniel poneman, deputy secretary of energy, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> all right -- >> i feel reassured. how about you? >> i don't know what jurisdictional problems that he has but let's just say, the white house put him out today. to come talk to us and he did not feel like he could admit what americans know, that there are two nuclear reactors, two nuclear plants on the san andreas fault. secondly, he doesn't know whether these two plants have a system that may have a design flaw that did not hold up well in japan. i just -- should they not be putting out somebody that can answer these questions? >> i thought that was extraordinary in the sense we're asking the question, what happens when the unthinkable happens? which is going to happen. everybody says it is going to happen. >> this is not going to happen in kansas. shouldn't the primary focus be
on these two plants in california? there are tens of millions of people living by these plants. >> the question is why they're still there, actually. >> i have a family 30 miles from the plant near l.a. what -- i want to know, what kind of plants are they? our government is not answering that question. the white house puts out somebody today that cannot answer the question. >> i agree. i think it's extremely frightening. if americans will be reassured they need a plan being put out, something to say. there's nothing you can say. the truth is, these things are in the wrong places. that's the scary thing. how can they be on the places? now we know what happens when the tsunami comes, when the edge quake comes. >> i think the conclusion, we need to hear from someone from the nrc who can answer the questions we just asked whether ch are pretty basic. >> really basic and relevant. and tens of thousands of people in california need these
answered. >> are there far higher standards for diablo canyon in terms of survival from a serious earthquake than you might have in virginia? looking at what happened in tokyo, they sure ought to be far higher and common sense says that. i can't understand why that fellow couldn't just tell us, look, obviously they're built to sustain far more of an earthquake than say this one was when they're sitting on the san andreas fault. >> this is say week later, almost a week later and the white house can't put out somebody that can answer these questions? i'm not knocking this guy. i mean, apparently he had a situation, he didn't want to wander into, but, bob, there's obviously a serious problem here if they can't answer what the two most risk-prone plants, how they're built. >> i couldn't agree more. i do think the white house is paying attention and you'll find someone else. >> from the nrc who has the
jurisdiction. >> or who would have better answers or answers at all to those questions. >> what can the answer actually be when these places are built -- >> "a," it's built on the fault line. >> and what can you say, you're living in the wrong place. >> it's built on the fault line. going back to the "financial times" story, talking about ge, there are new reactors that have, quote, passive safety that will keep the fuel cool for some time, even if the power is last. if it's one of the later generation plants, that's great news. if not, we'll have to upgrade to keep tens of millions of people safe in southern california. it's that simple. somebody at the white house should figure this out before friday. >> one of the world's worst nuclear accidents, chernobyl occurred nearly 25 years ago. nbc's michelle kosinski joins us live from the site of that reactor in ukraine. good morning. >> reporter: hi, mika.
you were just talking about, that big question of how much power can we maintain at these plants to keep them cool if something happens. that's what they were testing here in chernobyl back in 1986. there was a gap of time they were worried about before generators kick in. what happened, a power spike, one thing led to another, there were two massive explosions, one was a steam explosion and the second one is believed to be within the nuclear core. here's what we're left with. that is the hulking sarcophagus over reactor four and around us, the radiation remains spread. normally what you would get from the soil is between roughly 10 and 20 microruns an hour. it's strange being so close to the reactor, this is not the most contaminated place around. it all depends on how the wind carries it.
some places it will spike up to 1,000 and 100 feet later it goes back down to normal. a quarter century later, this is still very much contaminated earth. you do have people trying to resettle and ukraine just opened it up for tourism, which is why we're standing right here. we were able to get that clearance to do so. experts say where we are it's safe. you don't want to stay here for days or anything like that. >> you know, seriously, we'll wrap up the live shot pretty soon for your benefit. they've opened it up for tourism. it reminds me of bill murray's play in "tootsie" return to love canal. who is going to visit that this summer? >> throw the kids in the station wagon, go to chernobyl for the weekend? >> how could they open it up. >> the name chernobyl always comes up whenever there's a nuclear accident. it's important to point out that chernobyl was a terribly, terribly flawed facility. it didn't have any safeguards in place.
what do we learn from chernobyl that we can ply today, if anything, or is it such an anomaly that we shouldn't even bring it up here? >> reporter: there was a lot that was learned. the extensive analysis, scientists have had 25 years next month to look at this. so they know about certain components that didn't work quite right. there are control rods that are supposed to slow down the nuclear core if there's a problem. and part of it was made out of graphite. it was displacing coolant. it gets technical but scientists have learned from that. the biggest thing is the containment around the nuclear core. this thing had a 2,000-ton cap on it, basically. but it wasn't enough, clearly. the force of that, we all know. but now they build these massive containers all around it. we've been talking about that a lot as it relates to japan. that is in place, still, though, what more can be learned? i think one scientist put it very well when he said, he was
telling us that, you no he, we have these technologies with enormous potential. it kind of reminded me of the oil spill last spring. enormous potential there is a marvel of technology. but it's the contingency plans tend to be a lot less expensive. and there's such a margin there of error that once it passes that point, it's almost -- >> that's the truth of the matter. >> it's all so incredibly scary. >> exactly. >> michelle, are you still there? >> okay. >> all right. >> i was going to thank her for coming to the scarborough country. thank you, michelle. >> thank you if yew can hear us. coming up next, wisconsin governor scott walker says his budget bill was generous to unions. we'll talk to the president of the afl/cio richard trumka to see if he agrees with that. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] sometimes you need tomorrow
with us now from washington, d.c., the president of the afl/cio, richard trumka. rich, it's always great talking to you. scott walker says union benefits were generous in his latest budget. what's your response. >> first of all, joe, let me say, i think at the next super bowl we may see those players saying i'm going to chernobyl instead of i'm going to disney. >> oh, my gosh. >> i couldn't comprehend that. >> or maybe libya. >> yeah, really. first of all, that's totally irrelevant. what scott walker did was take away the ability of teachers to bargain for smaller classrooms, for firefighters to bargain for better safety. for nurses to bargain for better health care. he upset over 80 years of history and collective bargaining in that state and quite frankly, they did it in the middle of the night which
was a true affront to democracy and our rights. >> what is the fallout there? you read "new york times" in the that the unions are going to going to get ginned up and work hard to beat republicans but the public sector already gave $200 million to democrats last year. >> how much more ginned up can you be? >> that's pretty ginned up, right? >> first of all, we were outspent 20-1 so don't get too excited about that. second of all, what's happening there -- here's the fallout, joe. it is not just union members. it is none union members, small businessmen, independents, conservative republicans that are all saying this guy went too far so they're recoiling against him. he dropped like a rock in the polls. there's recalls going on for a number of those senators and in the first weekend they got 25% of the signatures necessary for
recall. so there is an energy that's going on and he converted a moment into a movement. that's what he did. >> but how do you do what i think -- we've got pat buchanan with us. but i think nixon did it, reagan did it. these are republicans that had support, some support of unions. how do you make it so you're not just giving $200 million in one cycle to a party and not split it up more? i'm not knocking you. you got to give your money to the candidates that are going to support you, but i guess the bigger question is how does the afl-cio and how do republicans get together more so you're not seen as an extension of the democratic party in the next election? >> i'd love that. i'd love to have candidates that support working people and that's what we do. we support a number of republicans. you know my personal history, what i've done and candidates i have supported in the past from both sides of the aisle. what we're finding is,
republicans candidates becoming more and more and more extreme and they don't support working people. how could we go to our members and say, by the way, support scott walker and john kasich, then be good to working people when they're trying to destroy our ability and workers's ability to bargain for a better way of life. >> was what happened in wisconsin, richard, all governor walker? was it just all his sort of overbearing action, or did the union misstep along the way? what was the point of weakness if you could rewind? or where do you think the union failed? >> first of all, mika, this isn't just governor walker. there is a pretty concerted efforts. you got kasich. we had a republican senator in
new hampshire that said students shouldn't be able to vote in new hampshire because they're liberal. so now what your background should be a litmus test of some kind. look. he asked for concessions from those workers. they gave him those concessions. but that's not what it was about. it wasn't about those concessions. it was about him paying back the people that spent over a billion dollars, joe -- not $200 million. over a billion dollars. people like the koch brothers. he has a provision in his budget that allows him to sell things off, no bid, to anybody he wants at any price that he determines. that's an affront to democracy. we're saying that in area after area. >> pat buchanan. >> let me ask you this. look, back in the recession, 2007 to 2009 or so, private sector lost something like 8 million jobs of these folks and some of them out of work for two years. the public sector employment
grew in number. these folks have job security, and initially what the governor was asking was, did you guys -- i mean some of these fellows just share in the sacrifice, pay a little more, so he could save all the public sector jobs. it didn't seem like an outrageous demand. >> well first of all, pat, the reason why government workers grew is because private sectors were being laid off and more people were unemployed. that was demanding more services from government. what we need to do is put people back to work so we can reduce those services. second of all, his asks from us were a sham. it wasn't about getting concessions because our members in wisconsin said, we'll accept them. we'll take exactly what you've asked for. even though your pension plan is fully funded, we'll take -- we'll pay more, even though the health care bills shouldn't be ours, we'll pay more. we didn't cause this recession. we didn't cause the deficits in wisconsin. but he wanted working people to
pay for them and it was a sham to try to take away their rights. >> all right. richard trumka, thank you very much. >> thanks, joe. see you, mika. next, congressman barney frank and john barrasso next monday. >> announcnc alonone there's s been a 67%7%g ththe cloud--- big clclouds, smalall ones, pupublic, privivate, your datata and appsps must moe eaeasily and s securely to reaeach many clclouds, not justst one.etworkrk ththat connectcts, protectcts, fefearlessly t through thehe cs ththat connectcts, protectcts, fefearlessly t through thehe cs means s more than n ever.
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west coast, hawaii, alaska, or u.s. territories in the pacific. that is the judgment of our nuclear regulatory commission and many other experts. here at home, nuclear power is also an important part of our own energy future, along with renewable sources like wind, solar, natural gas, and clean coal. our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study and have been declared safe for any number of extreme contingencies. but when we see a crisis like the one in japan, we have a responsibility to learn from this event and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people. i am confident that japan will recover and rebuild because the strength and spirit of the japanese people. over the last few days they've opened up their homes to one another, they've shared scarce resources of food and water, they've organized shelters, provided free medical care and looked out for the most
vulnerable citizens. one man put it simply -- it's a japanese thing. when hard times hit, we have to help each other. >> good friday morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast, a beautiful start to the day as you take a live look over manhattan. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, financier and "morning joe" economic analyst stephen ratner is with us, "new york times" columnist bob herbert and in washington, msnbc political analyst, pat buchanan. >> the u.n. security council makes a big move on libya last night and we'll talk about that and the ramifications. we will get to japan in just a moment but first starting with libya. europe's air traffic control agency has libya has closed its airspace to all traffic, coming a day after the u.n. security council authorized a no-fly zone over libya and "all necessary measures to stop moammar gadhafi
from attacking his own people." yesterday's vote was 10-0 with five abstentions, including russia and china, which credited the arab league's endorsement for its decision not to veto. the resolution's backers -- the united states, france and britain, are now discussing how to enforce the no-fly zone. at the white house yesterday, press secretary jay carney urged patience in ousting gadhafi. >> we are talking here about an event that is only weeks old, so to suggest that somehow we could -- anybody could snap their fingers and when a leader in a country takes action that the international community condemns, you know, that leader, if he or she decides that they're going to hunker down and stay in power, that, you know, days pass and they haven't left, is some measure of the impact of the international community, that's i think a silly standard
to set. >> meanwhile, calling in to libyan television yesterday, gadhafi vowed to retake the rebel strong hold of benghazi saying that for those who resist, there will be "no mercy or compassion." there are also new reports that gadhafi's forces are bombarding a rebel-held town in the western part of the country. and in an interview with abc, one of gadhafi's sons said the libyan government would release one of the "new york times" journalists missing in the country some time today. there are four missing. those pictures you see there, saying, "they will release her, although she entered the country illegally." end quote. though he did not give a specific name, not clear if he was referring to the photographer lynsey addaro. those four journalists still missing and being held in libya. let's talk though -- because there has been a battle for some time internally in the united states, whether we should go in or not.
very interesting in the "financial times," "grub governments do not indulge in emotional lunges committing warplanes as if sending a donation to oxfam." he's suggesting this is too little, too late and we're doing it cynically to make ourselves feel good. >> well, i think he may have a point, joe. look, the u.n. has authorized a war on libya. but the congress in the united states has not authorized barack obama to take this country to war on libya. and i would hope that before barack obama takes part in one of these air strikes, which get us into that war, that the congress of the united states, both houses, discusses something like a gulf resolution whether or not to authorize the united states to go to war because libya, gadhafi, for all his malevolence and evil, has not attacked the united states. >> but pat buchanan, back in '85 after the berlin disco bombing,
ronald reagan didn't go to congress before he scrambled the jets and tried to kill gadhafi. >> exactly, joe. exactly. we had had been attacked by libya and we counterattacked, then ronald reagan went to congress and said here's why i did it. if the united states is attacked, one of our ships by libyan forces, the president's got the right to respond. but in the absence of an attack on the united states, libya's not at war with us. but for us to attack them would take us to war with them. >> bob herbert, do we attack a country that has not attacked us? >> i think barack obama and the u.s. is obviously in a tough place here, but a country like the united states, there's a -- we have fundamental values that we are in favor of. and you know, gadhafi -- you never know what he is going to do and there's always the potential of humanitarian disaster in libya.
and i think that starting off with the u.n. resolution, the idea of the no-fly zone is a good start. i do believe that you need to move cautiously but i don't think the united states can just sit back and watch some terrible happening unfold in libya. >> well, especially if the president makes pronouncements like he has, especially the fact that he has been saying that gadhafi must go. i don't know what this has done to his credibility. >> did the president make the right call? >> look, we're not doing this unilaterally. you said repeatedly on this show that the u.s. shouldn't go in there by itself, shouldn't be the world's policemen. we went to the u.n., we had a discussion. virtually all the important countries, particularly france somewhat amazingly, were in favor of going in there and trying to at least create a no-fly zone and i think it is perfectly responsible action for us to be a part of that. >> and the arab league, most importantly, willie. lebanon is sponsoring this resolution and we have been -- and i know pat buchanan and i
talk about it, a lot of people on this set talk about it -- there's been, willie, this instinct for the united states to unilaterally go places over the past 20, 25 years since the fall of the soviet union. in this case though, france out first, england, then you've got the arab league. and so it certainly does give us a lot more cover. >> and that was critical to president obama. he said that yesterday. wanted to make sure everyone knew this is not some western-led attack on a muslim country, that he had the arab league with him. he wouldn't go out on camera yesterday and talk about the vote. he clearly does not want the united states to be the face of this effort. >> let's move to japan. >> all right. frantic effort is under way right now in japan to stem the cry at the fukushima nuclear plant. according to japanese officials, the complex's third unit is their main priority since water there is believed to be dangerously low. meaning fuel rods could overheat and emit dangerous radioactive material. throughout the week the japanese government has been criticized
for poor communication about the situation, but officials now say they were asking the u.s. government for help and are discussing solutions. for now though, the japanese government has no plans to expand its mandatory 13-mile exclusion zone around the plant. in a possible setback earlier today, smoke once again rose from one of the plant's buildings as crews worked to reconnect power to the critical systems. meanwhile, the international atomic energy agency is reporting these developments. first, the severity rating of a nuclear crisis has been raised from 4 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 7 with 7 being the worst. that would suggest a level of seriously on par with the three-mile island accident in the u.s. back in 1979. plus, up to 64 tons of water were dropped at the overheating reactors yesterday. and, the agency says, a cable has been restored to the cooling pumps at the second reactor in the plant.
just finally before we go to break, european stocks rose today taking their cue from positive american and asian sessions yesterday. the nikkei surged 244 points while the dow shot up 161 points as investors welcomed an agreement by the g-7 to support the japanese economy. when we come back, bradley cooper and pulitzer prize winning historian jon meacham will be here on set. but first, meteorologist bill karins has a check on the weekend forecast. >> this is a forecast everyone's happy about. a lot of people walking into work with no jackets on for the first time in months and it's going to be one of the warmest days we've seen in months in many parts of the country. yesterday all the warmth was in the middle of the nation. 80s widespread through texas all the way up to kansas city. even chicago was mild yesterday. now that 80s is spreading to the east. so get ready. washington, d.c., 76 for your high today. as far north as new york city, could hit 70. typical highs were only 50 to 55. this is unusual. we may even get a couple record
highs today. atlanta, down through florida, everyone 80 to 85. same for you in new orleans. but hold on to the warmth in kansas city. but we are cooler, 55 for you compared to yesterday near 80. that will feel a little chilly though that's typical. the only problems this weekend is on the west coast. we have rain today from san francisco, eventually in sacramento. that's going to continue into saturday. even los angeles is going to have a rainy weekend, especially on sunday. that's when you could deal with heavy rain. east coast, you're dry but cooler. enjoy today though on the eastern seaboard. what a day it's going to be in new york city. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. i'm good about washing my face. but sometimes i wonder... what's left behind? [ female announcer ] introducing purifying facial cleanser from neutrogena® naturals. developed with dermatologists... it's clinically proven to remove 99% of dirt and toxins and purify pores. and with natural willowbark it contains no dyes, parabens or harsh sulfates. dirt and toxins do a vanishing act
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so you want to go to law school. >> how do you know i'm in law school? >> people don't usually carry around books about a dead supreme court justice. >> you just saw the corner of it. how did you know that? >> i'd seen it before 12 years ago in college. if you're writing a paper that's not the book i'd use. >> who asked you? >> hastings has his oral history. i'd start there. interesting point, dramatically this guy was an idiot which gives credence that the clerk he fired wrote this guy's major opinions. the clerk's sons would love to talk to you. exonerate their dad. >> information from the odd museum show a half-read article of some. pbs documentary, all bubbling up in my frontal lobes mixing it up into a sparkling cocktail of useful information. she didn't have a chance. >> 17 past the hour. that was a scene from the new film "limitless."
joining us now, the star of the movie, bradley cooper. also at the table, pulitzer prize winning historian jon meacham. >> this is the story of meacham's life. that's how he pick up women. >> that's right. >> we hear this concept that you only use 10% of your brain. right? willie and i, we stubbornly stick at like 3.5% because there is room for growth. but the concept of this film -- by the way, bradley -- >> i'm going to see this one. >> love being here. i was wondering. >> she didn't see "the a list." >> that's why i fought to get it. >> remember the last time she goes i like this "a list." so talk about the concept of the movie. >> i mean it is a great hook. what would happen if you could take a pill that could open up all of your brain. basically this guy who i play is -- it was cool bh you were 25, you had a book contract and hadn't written anything. but if you're 35 -- you know
this. >> it's a sad steer. >> he comes across this drug that opens up everything he's ever seen, smell, heard touched since the womb at his disposal for any use that he wants. he writes the book in four days. then what's he going to do after? really it is about power. what do you do, how pour he can be abused. >> and obviously he gets it. that's the great news. where does he abuse -- where does the conflict come? >> if the playing field isn't level. basically you move ahead of anybody else. what kind of respect are you going to treat that with. he decides that he wants to do something. you're not quite sure what it is. i did a lot of research with willie. and then so he starts to work with this investment banker, robert de niro, and it just starts too get dicey. >> there's the cliche question, what was it like to work with de niro so we won't ask that exactly but you're a huge student of film and acting
obviously. so it is like when i was growing up watching michael jordan, it's like playing with the bulls. now you're acting with de niro. here's the cliche question, what was it like working with de niro? >> you couldn't help yourself. he's only got 3.5% of a brain so -- >> the moment of like wow. then you got to do your job. >> he was a jerk, wasn't he? >> let him answer the question. >> i'm sorry. okay. >> it was incredible. it was incredible. he hasn't been on the show, has he? >> no, not yet. >> first of all, he's a great guy. that's what i didn't know was going to happen. i actually love him. the guy is amazing. it was the easiest time i've ever had acting ever. because he's very present. he's just talking to you. i remember we did the table read for the movie, he comes in at like page 25. i'm acting my brains out in front of like 30 people. bob's sitting here, there's tons of voice overs, you can see, too.
i'm reading like a novel, it feels like. he goes, brad, what's your secret. which is the first line. i go, i'm sorry, what did you say? he's like, what's your secret? i said oh, you're doing the script. you're actually talking to me. acting like this -- oh, i just have to talk to people. that's what the movie is. we talk to each other. >> that's cute. that's cute. cute story. >> is there a faustian moment? without giving it away. >> yeah. without giving it away. i mean it is a little jekyll and hy hydeish. it is a mortality tale in a lot of ways. bup it is also fun. there is a sequence when my character gets jumped by six guys in the subway and i spent -- all the hours you spend watching wwf as a kid or enter
the dragon, that's all at his disposal at that time. he -- so that he's flashbacks to these shows. he says fight, i can't fight. then you see the little boy watching the tv, all of a sudden he just starts kicking ass. >> it is limitless. "the new york times" had a great profile of you this past weekend and talked about how you were coming into your own as one of hollywood's leading guys. but it seems to me you're not a guy that's going to take the easy approach all the time. what do you want moving forward five years from now? >> you know, joe, i'm not someone who really thinks about a five-year plan. maybe i should. but to me it's like i just try to take it one day at a time. it is also pretty simple. i just want to get better as an actor. that means working with great filmmakers and great actors and great material. it is really simple. if you want to get better that means you're going to have to diversify, branch out and go out of your comfort zone. if that means not taking the easy road, then i guess you're
right. >> what does that mean out of your comfort zone? what would you like to do next? >> a musical -- no, i'm kidding. >> how about "spider-man." >> the woman that we just saw in that clip is in "spider-man." >> she okay? >> i don't know. but really it's about filmmakers. like if you asked me what would i want to do next, work with paul thomas anderson and john than glazer or quentin tarantino or ckatherine bigelow. it is all about the filmmakers you work with. >> would you like do stage? >> oh, yeah. yeah. i did a play a couple years ago on broadway called "three days of rain." there is this thing called williams town. >> i did that.
i did it when chris reeves was there, the summer he met his wife. christopher walken was there. >> seriously. >> i was an apprentice. >> oh, my god. stick with me, sweetheart. >> i was unusual. we'll talk to him about that. >> what does that mean. >> oh, nothing. >> she doesn't want to go there. >> it was the '80s. okay? >> but you can really step outside of your comfort zone as an actor there. >> in a safe way kind of. >> cool. >> bradley's going to come full circle. he came you through the actors studio here in new york. now he's working with robert de niro. in fact, leading the bill, here's a clip though from years ago. bradley cooper in the audience
asking a question of robert de niro. >> how you doing, mr. de niro? my name is bradley cooper. my question is regarding "awakenings." you talked about your research and how you interviewed a lot of patients, people that had different diseases. there was one mannerism that you had during the interview process when they were asking you, when you wanted to go outside the building and go for a walk and you went like this with your finger and you sort of made up for it by rubbing your eyebrow. i was wondering is that something you had saw people do to sort of try to make up for their ticks or is that something that happened in the moment in. >> what's your question? >> ooh! wow! >> i guess the big question is where did you get that shirt? that's sharp. >> i think it was urban outfitters. along with the necklace that came -- they came together. >> package deal. >> package deal. and moccasins. >> then you just did inside the actors studio. that had to be kind of weird from sitting here to sitting up there.
>> yeah. it was actually really emotional. embarrassingly emotional. i couldn't stop crying. >> really. >> my father -- my parents were in the audience. my father was sick. all my friends there who i'd been to school with and i had been in the audience. it was just wonderful. but the funny thing about that when i asked him the question, if you keep showing -- if you keep it rolling, i never sit down. i forgot to sit down. >> we actually have the clip that you were just talking about as well. >> which one? >> the emotional one. >> oh, god. >> all right, let's take a look. >> i can't talk with tears. it's going to be like hyperventilating. i was thinking about this today. and the thing that i wanted to say was -- that i was never able
to relax in my life before her. >> nothing like james stepping in and saving you. just letting him hang out there. let's explain the context. your dad whom you were very close to was sick at the time. he passed away. >> yeah. >> and this has been not just there but this entire time has been extraordinarily emotional for you and your mom and your entire family and your grouch friends. >> yeah. >> you got to go out, you've got to act, you've got to promote a movie when you had had to say good-bye to your dad. >> yeah. it's an odd thing but -- the great thing is that he was able to see so much stuff that he was able to be there for that and i was very conscience of the fact that each thing he was able to be there for we knew it was
coming close to the end. >> how's your mom cog? >> she's okay. yeah, she's okay. it changes everything. you know? when you lose a parent, everything changes. i don't know if you guys have, but it's -- i was blessed to be there with him for end and it was -- that was one of the biggest gifts he ever gave me because there's a calm that comes over. >> well, and a chance a lot of people don't get. >> yeah. >> to say good-bye. >> no, you're right. >> and to express yourself the way you had wanted to instead of "i wish i had." >> yeah, there are no regrets. i took the summer off, i lived with my parents in philly for the summer. it couldn't have been better in terms of having the time. >> what was for you taking the summer off, what was the most special moment for you with your dad and how did you have the foresight to just say, you know what? i'm going to step off of this
train because this may be my last summer with him. >> you know, that's a good question. it was one of those things where i was going to maybe do something else and then sometimes you make a decision, you think how could i have ever even contemplated not doing it? do you know what i mean? i took it down the road almost to the end and i thought, wait a minute, what? you just switch gears and go, this is where i'm supposed to be. so i think upbringing probably led me down that road of staying with him the way i was raised by them. a great thing was i took him to the eagles playoffs games on sunday and he actually died the saturday after. but we went down the field, we met ron jaworski. it was kind of a wonderful thing. >> eagles. that's an awfully rough place to take your dad. eagles stadium. wow. so -- >> he ate like three hot dogs that day. >> was he always supportive of
acting? because you can -- you're going out on a limb. >> he was always supportive of me. but of course they were trepidatious. my father grew up in north philly. one of the only guys in his neighborhood to go to college. so he worked hard and i always felt that pressure of taking it from what he did to someplace else. i think it wasn't until -- they paid for college but i took loans out to go to grad school. $70,000 in debt after you graduate grad school, you know, my parents were worried. but they did see a play i did. my thesis, "the alpha man." i still remember after the first performance seeing it in their eyes where they thought -- they got a little excited. this could work. >> maybe he'll make back the 70,000 bucks! >> maybe this would work. yeah. but they got so -- i remember the first time i booked a wendy's commercial and i called my father, i said dad i'm in a hotel in miami and there's a balcony. i opened up$váq' -- i got to
tell you, mika, let's put it out on the table here. your dad -- she went to williams town and this festival and what's his name again? >> which one? >> the crazy one, the one i loved so much. >> christopher walkin went up to mika and said, "you're a great actress and you can do great things. stay with this." she went home to maclean, virginia and her father said, no, you are not going to do that. >> you are going to get an education first. >> but for your dad to step forward and stay with you, and your mom, too.
>> absolutely. that's huge. that's a huge help. >> did you ever do any summers at carnegie mellon? >> no. i never did anything for acting until after college. nothing. >> but he did buy really nice shirts at urban outfitter. >> and necklaces. stay with us, much more with bradley cooper and jon meacham. and business before the bell with mark haines next on "morning joe." the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at onstar.com to enter without a blue onstar button. see rules at onstar.com how can expedia now save me even more on my hotel?
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we already know who our next president is going to be. it is going to be donald trump. donald trump spoke to ashleigh banfield from his private jet about his possible run for the presidency. he said he would spend $600 million of his own money to run. >> you'd put up $600 million for this? >> absolutely. assuming i'm doing well. >> you have $600 million to spare? >> absolutely. part of the beauty of me is that i'm very rich. >> it's part of his beauty. the other part being his mode y modesty. >> 36 past the hour. >> one of the great things about me is i'm very rich. >> and modest. >> part of the beauty.
>> you know when somebody says that -- >> you know what's incredible though? you watch his eyes as he's talking to the interviewer. he's doing it with ease like there's full belief. full belief. >> he's dead-serious. >> oh, yeah. there's nothing. nothing. which is impressive. >> would you vote for him? >> no. >> okay, trump's going to call us. he's already called us once. he's very upset when people don't take his run for the presidency seriously. >> but has he announced? >> no, not yet. >> part of his beauty. >> we were talking to some folks and they asked about him and we put him on the phone with them and he actually started running for president on the phone. very seriously talking about our economy. >> he talk about the economy and then finally the last thing he said is, by the way, "the apprentice" is the best ever. speaking of people who talk like that, jerry weintraub says hello. says he likes you very much.
another great guy -- well, that's actually -- >> that's going too far. it is cheesy because it sounds tin. >> we love him though. cnbc's mark haines, live at the new york stock exchange and he's got doughnuts. what's going on, mark? >> actually, no, it's a selection of italian pastries in honor of st. joseph's day tomorrow. >> oh, that's good to know. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you. you're not getting any. >> oh. >> what's happening down there. >> you have to be careful with the donald, by the way. he can be a little thin-skinned. >> really. >> oh, yeah. >> tell me about it. >> oh, well, there was trump, the gamt, a coupe that came out of years ago. somebody asked me what the point and i said to borrow as much money from people as you can and then go bankrupt. i got a letter from the donald which i have framed in my home office. informing me that i was -- well,
anyway, it wasn't nice. >> but you got it framed. >> but -- well, we see each other in person and we do see each other in person occasionally. he's very nice. >> just think how much that letter is going to be worth when he's president of the united states. so what's happening today? >> don't laugh like that. >> you're going to get another letter. >> the president called me an a-hole. see? yeah, be worth a lot of money. >> that could be. >> i'm kind of dancing here because we don't have a lot going on. >> mark haines at the new york stock exchange. thanks so much for being with us. have a great weekend. >> we don't have a lot going on that will be of interest to normal people so let me very quickly go through it. the g-7 coordinated an attempt to drive the yen lower because the yen has been rising. don't ask me why. i don't understand it. and it's imperming the japanese
recovery if the currency gets too high, their exports become too expensive. so that's going on. and also we are seeing -- this is under the radar. but you've heard it before about rising food prices. big jumps in corn and wheat this morning, 3.5%. but as i said, this is pretty esoteric stuff. >> where's oil right now? >> oil right now is pretty much unchanged on the day at $101. we're going to have a great hope for the stock market though, futures pointed to about a 100-point gain on the dow. >> it's fascinating that it's unchanged after the resolution on libya. >> that's what we always -- that's the bs we tell people when we can't figure out what it is. really. "mark has already factored that in." >> what you're saying is we can work for cnbc as well.
>> oh, anybody can work here! >> listen. i don't call you my man crush for nothing, mark haines. i love you. thank you so much for being with us. >> all right, no go away, i want to eat my doughnut. coming up next, we'll talk to the author of a provocative new book on his theory on the afterlife. he is an evangelical preacher and questions, his critics say, the existence of -- >> i'd like to see him be in the white house tault, be available tault and maybe, maybe, even make a trip over to a certain part just as a signal. >> to tokyo. >> yeah. wouldn't that be brilliant? >> over there and tell them you're here to help, not being a governor. [music playing]
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grabbed rapids. a new book called "love wins," heaven, hell and the fate of every person who's ever lived. rob, thank you for being with us. obviously your book has stirred up much controversy, many evangelicals saying you are being blasphemous for suggesting the concepts of heaven and hell are not as traditional as evangelicals and orthodox christians believe. tell us about it. >> well, i'm a christian and i'm a pastor and i'm interested in what the bible actually says. so i'm not saying anything that is foreign to the orthodox historic christian faith. what i do find interesting, if
you simply begin with a bible study. where do we get this word "hell." did jesus use the word. how many times. you find all sorts of really interesting fresh things. >> did jesus use the word "hell"? >> yeah, he did. and actually he uses it less than 20 times but the main word used for hell is the word -- a greek word which meant valley of henna which was an actual valley in the first century along the south and west sides of the city of jerusalem and it was the town dump. when he said gahenna, everybody knew, oh, yeah, that's right over there. >> jon meacham. >> pastor, the concepts gain strength over time, as you're suggesting more as a product of the church's theology than biblical theology. where do you date the beginning of the dichotomy? >> that's a great, great question. what's interesting to me is, we
have these sort of cultural notions of heaven and hell and they get attached to jesus like well obviously this is the christian faith. but when jesus spoke even of something like heaven, for a first century good jewish rabbi like jesus, heaven was first and foremost a reality to be experienced here and now in this life. grace and peace and joy right now. so that's a great question. >> you've been called a heretic by other pastors. what's your response to them? >> that i'm actually not saying anything new and my interest has always been the good news of jesus and as a pastor at an actual church in an actual town, i believe our world needs good news more than ever. what's fascinating about the word heretic is its roots come from a greek word which means able to choose. so literally the origin of the
word is somebody who's able to choose which puts an interesting spin on it, to say the least. >> tell me, why did you write this book? >> because i find that there are questions that lots of people have that prevent them from coming to church, coming to jesus, having faith in god, and as a pastor i keep running into christians who have the same questions. they go to a funeral and the pastor loudly proclaims that the person who has passed away will burn in hell forever. and they say, really? do we have to make that judgment? maybe we are speculating and we ought to leave room for the grace and love of god. so for me it comes out of the real questions of real people and simply taking them back to the scriptures and saying, let's relook at this book and see what it really does say so that we don't make it say the kinds of things that it doesn't say. >> so do you end up questioning
your faith more as a reader of this book or less? because it looks like -- or sounds like you address the real question of faith. if i have to suffer, if i've lost this person, a sense of well perhaps i don't believe. does that make sense? >> well, yes, it does. and i think what's -- like the psalms, this collection of prayers in the middle of the bible. some believe that half of the psalms are laments which is a longing, a grieving, a question. and so actual authentic historic faith is filled with people wrestling with the big issues. jesus on the cross. my god, my god, why have you forsaken me? this is a question. and so i think a church ought to be a place where you are free to really struggle with your deepest longings and questions and that's not a threat to faith. that's a sign that you're alive and you're wrestling with the
big questions and i don't think it threatens god. i think it means that your heart is engaged and that's what jesus came to give us. >> sir, do you think part of the reaction, the really ferocious reaction to this, is about pulling a string on a sweater? that is, if you start pulling on this part of the bible, if this isn't literally true, then the whole sweater starts to unravel. >> yeah. yeah, exactly. and i think a lot of people in the modern world, their fundamental understanding of faith is a very black and white, what jesus gives you is certainty and if you doubt how that was handed to you, or how you are taught, then everything might crumble. and i see it as a much more dynamic, vibrant, vital pursuit and discovery. for many people, the fundamental metaphor they were given is
theology is destination. you get the beliefs right, and you arrive. but what you see in the scriptures is a metaphor of journey. you are on a journey and you are learning, you are growing and the scenery is changing. and so you have to revisit things that you are handed or previously held perspectives because you're growing and you're experiencing new things. and that's okay. that means you're alive. it's to be celebrated rather than to be a threat. >> all right. rob bell, thank you so much for being with us. we greatly appreciate it. the book is "love wins." and rob is the pastor and founder of morris hills baptist church. we shall return. [ male announcer ] nature is unique... pure...
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